I Am Bruin Pride presents the stories, experiences, and contributions of LGBTQ students, staff, faculty, and alumni of UCLA in an inclusive and diverse manner. Each interviewee has been picked based on a variety of factors toward diversity in race, experience, orientation, and identity. Featuring a poster series and an interview, I Am Bruin Pride documents the important histories of those within the UCLA LGBT community.
Click here for Yakira Delgadillo's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Our first I Am Bruin Pride interviewee, Yakira Delgadillo, has been involved with Project 1 for two years. She began as a volunteer her third year and became a Project Director her fourth year. Working with high school students has always been a passion of hers. Project 1 serves LGBTQ youth of color in inner city schools. Having the opportunity to volunteer with students is the kind of experience she is grateful for. The students face so many obstacles that deal with race, class, religion, identity, and citizenship status etc., being a resource of theirs as they navigate through those struggles is an experience she does not take for granted. Through her experience with Project 1, she hopes that more student run organization will serve LGBTQ youth, and all youth in the Los Angeles community.
Click here for Moof Mayeda's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Moof Mayeda, class of 2004, was an on-campus activist, advocate, and all around influential student in their time on campus and in the wider LGBT community after graduation. The I Am Bruin Pride project is honored to have the opportunity to feature Mayeda as our 2nd interviewee.
Moof Mayeda is the Deputy Director for The Academy for Leadership and Action at National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the nation's leading LGBTQ advocacy organization. After growing up on a cul-de-sac in South Orange County, Moof moved to Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA with a double major in mathematics and microbiology. It was there that they fell madly in love with social justice activism, co-founding Queer x Girl, serving on the board of the Queer Alliance, designing for various newsmagazines, and facilitating Women's Rap. For all their work organizing on campus, Moof was the first recipient of the Ezekiel "Zeke" Webber Leadership in Activism and Education Award in 2004.
As an organizer for the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force for the last decade, Moof has worked on a variety of electoral campaigns for social justice and LGBT liberation. During the 2012 election cycle, they were the statewide co-director of field for Mainers United, the successful same-sex marriage campaign in Maine. As a queer, Japanese American, gender non-conforming person, Moof is most at home doing intersectional work, whether it's mobilizing queer students to join a statewide campaign against a racist ballot initiative, running a paid canvass of Latinas talking to Latinas about reproductive justice, or training activists with the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance. A fixture in queer and trans organizing in LA, most people thought Moof would never leave. However, the opportunity for fresh air and a fresh start won out -- Moof recently relocated from LA to Portland, Oregon, where they are starting a life with their partner, Ali, and enjoying the locally grown food and clean air.
Click here for Al Aubin's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Al Aubin is a UCLA alumn and long time community member. He has served the community for over 40 years, and his motto is, "Nothing is out of reach!" I Am Bruin Pride is proud to feature Al Aubin as our 3rd interviewee.
Albert E.(Al) Aubin, is nationally regarded as the consummate student affairs professional. He is a talented counselor of students and devoted mentor to staff at the UCLA Career Center. Beyond his primary role in which he has delivered superior career development services to students and alumni, Al has consistently contributed to numerous campus-wide initiatives. He has been “of service” to the UCLA campus and community for more than 40 years. These diverse and challenging activities have not precluded Al’s pursuing elected, demanding service as a member of the University Credit Union’s Board of Directors, the UCLA Retirees’ Association, Faculty Center Board of Directors, Lambda Alumni, and in the community where he is a Board member for East West Players, an Asian-American theatre group. Over the years, Al has received the Chancellor’s Excellence in Award, the Bruin Caucus Advocate of the Year Award, and commendations from the California Senate and the City of Los Angeles.
His early efforts to advance the campus gay network — and later the development of our LGBT resource center — have been untiring and lent the strong, solid programming and support now available for UCLA students, faculty and staff.
Click here for Rosemary Veniegas's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Rosemary Veniegas is an alumni of UCLA, having graduated with a Ph.D in psychology, as well as a long time community member. Her work in HIV prevention and activism is an inspiration and true gift to the LGBT community. I Am Bruin Pride is proud to feature Rosemary Veniegas as our 4th interviewee.
Dr. Veniegas is an implementation scientist whose work focused on evidence-based programs and practices in real-world settings. She led community engagement efforts on HIV prevention and substance abuse prevention for highly impacted populations. She developed operations and procedures for multiple publicly funded demonstration projects on integrated HIV, STD, tuberculosis and hepatitis prevention, behavioral health, and biomedical prevention. She served as a reviewer for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute which was established as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As a past member of the Board of Directors of the Urban Coalition for HIV Prevention Services she advised a membership organization that included the 10 U.S. health jurisdictions most impacted by HIV/AIDS. In her current role as the Health Care Program Officer with the California Community Foundation she is responsible for over $5 million in annual grantmaking to strengthen the safety net of clinics, hospitals and health service organizations serving those who are uninsured or do not have health care access throughout Los Angeles County.
Click here for Mark Chambers's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Mark Chambers, class of 2012, was a non-traditional student who contributed his energy, enthusiasm, and time to the UCLA LGBT community while studying at UCLA. His work supporting LGBT identities in the sports community demonstrates activist work where it is not traditionally seen. I Am Bruin Pride is proud to feature Mark Chambers as our 5th interviewee.
Mark Chambers is a pioneer in the LGBT sports community. He co-founded the Lambda Basketball League of Los Angeles, and is the founder of the National Gay Basketball Association (NGBA), 2004. His community services activities have given countless lgbt athletes the opportunity to create a network of contacts across the USA, and the world. Mark is a UCLA 2012 graduate, and during his attendance worked as an intern in the lgbt resource center. He is a supporter of the resource center’s free printing program, as it is a great tool for students to gain access to resources on their own terms.
Click here for D'Lo's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
D'Lo, class of 1999, is an alumni and community member who uses his experiences to create comedy and theater around issues of politics. D’Lo uses comedy and the arts to tackle issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, and changes lives through the art of performance. I Am Bruin Pride is proud to feature D'Lo as our 6th interviewee.
D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comedian. D’Lo is also the creator of the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series which have taken place with South Asian and/or Immigrant Queer Organizations nationally. He is also an artistic core member of Teada Productions and on the board for Brown Boi Project and a co-producer with DisOriented Comedy.
D'Lo's poetry and short stories have been published in various anthologies and academic journals, most recently: Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asia America and Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics.
Aside from touring the university/college circuit with D’FaQTo Life, D’Lo tours Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show, directed by Adelina Anthony, which received the NPN Creation Fund Grant inclusive of residencies in 9 US cities and additional support from the Durfee Foundation Grant. His full-length stand-up storytelling show D’FunQT, directed by Steven Sapp of Universes, which has toured internationally (SF, NY, Manchester, UK and 7-city tour in India and Sri Lanka) will be coming to LA in 2015, while he works on his other projects To T, or Not to T and GodFreaQ.
The documentary by Crescent Diamond based on D’Lo’s life/work, called Performing Girl, recently won the best short documentary award at Outfest 2013 and he most recently was a lead character for the short film LIT. He also appears in the new HBO series LOOKING as Taj, on the Amazon series TRANSPARENT and the Netflix series SENSE 8, Mikki del Monico’s film ALTO, and Sundance Fellow Adelina Anthony’s film BRUISING FOR BESOS. He also appears on the web series EASTSIDERS and DYKE CENTRAL.
Aside from acting and stand up, D'Lo is currently working on a few musical projects with local musicians in LA, producing and going back to his hip-hop roots.
Click here for Dr. Suzanne Seplow's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Dr. Suzanne Seplow, alumna, is a long time staff member at UCLA who has dedicated her career to LGBT inclusivity and visibility. Her visibility on campus and tireless work for LGBT inclusivity in housing and residential life has made the UCLA campus climate all the more safe for LGBT identified students. I Am Bruin Pride is proud to present Dr. Seplow as our 7th interviewee.
Suzanne L. Seplow, originally from Newton, NJ, received her Bachelor of Sciencedegree in Natural Sciences/Biology with a concentration in Education from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. She went on to receive her Master’s from Teachers College, Columbia University in Student Personnel Administration. After 9 years as a practitioner working at University of New Hampshire, Dickinson College and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Suzanne returned back to academia. In 2001, she earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at UCLA. Her areas of interest, both in and out of the classroom are: civic engagement, leadership, social justice, student identity development, and environmental influences on living-learning communities.
Suzanne is currently the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Development; overseeing Residential Life, the First Year Experience (FYE), the Graduate Student Resource Center (GSRC), the Bruin Resource Center (BRC) and the Counseling Center (CAPS). She also serves as a Faculty-in-Residence, living in Hedrick Hall with her partner, Robin and their two children, Tesfanesh and Elsae. Suzanne taught for many years the Fiat Lux: LGBT is not a Sandwich, straight talk about gay issues. She enjoys the opportunity to mentor staff, interact with students and lead organizations committed to accountability, student development, and social justice.
Click here for Christina Chala's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Christina, Chala, class of 2005, was a student activist on campus who involved herself with the Clothesline project and other student activist work. I Am Bruin Pride is proud to feature Christina Chala as our 8th interviewee.
Christina CHala is a social justice educator committed to creating transformative educational spaces and experiences. She currently works as a Senior Academic Advisor at the City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College at Baruch College. She earned her B.A. in Women's Studies with a minor in LGBT Studies from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and her M.A. in Higher Education/Student Affairs from New York University (NYU). Prior to moving to New YorkChristina worked with the UCLA Center for Community College Partnerships. Her research interests include examining the role intersectionality plays in supporting students with multiple community identities, promoting access and excellence for underrepresented and underserved student populations, and best practices around creating safe and healthy community spaces.
Click here for Maria Hinayon's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Maria Hinayon, UCLA Law School class of 2015, is an outspoken activist fighting for trans rights and LGBT advocacy both within UCLA and in the larger LA LGBT community. I Am Bruin Pride is proud to feature Maria Hinayon as our 9th interviewee.
Maria Carmen Hinayon, or Carmen as her friends and family know her, is a transgender advocate, activist, and community educator. As a future lawyer, she is interested in litigation practice and direct client service, particularly in the area of civil rights. Growing up in the Philippines as a transgender women, Carmen experienced bullying, harassment, and hardships. But she found strength adn courage in LGBT activism. While studying Computer Science in the University of the Philippines in 2002, Carmen became the first openly transgender student leader to be elected to the University Student Council where she championed issues relating to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, environment, and students' rigths and welfare. A year after, she blazed another trail as the first openly transgender to be elected as National Chairperson of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines where she continued to champion issues she fought for including lobbying bills in the Philippine Congress that advanced students right and welfare and importantly, the LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill.
In 2004, Carmen moved to the United States where she continued her activism, though this time much mroe focused towards transgender rights. While in San Francisco, from 2004-2007, Carmen volunteered at the Asian Pactific Islander Wellness Center. Thereafter, Carmen moved to Los Angeles where she worked with local LGBT non-profits such as the Imperial Court of Los Angeles & Hollywood, one fo the oldest LGBT organizations in the country that raise funds for LGBT focused charities such as The AIDS Food Bank and the Trevor Project. She has also served as one of the Lead Volunteer Coordinators for both Long Beach and Los Angeles LGBT Prides for the past five years. Currently, she serves as a member of the West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board, a body that advises the City Council on issues and policies concerning the transgender community.
While in Law School, Carmen serves as the Community Outreach Officer for UCLA OUTLaw in 2013-2014. She is also the current Chief Comments Editor for the UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs (2014-2015). In her past law school summers, Carmen worked on employment law and educational law matters at the City of Los Angeles and the law firm of Atkinson Andelson Loya Ruud & Romo, respectively. She also participated in a civil rights litigation clinic assisting a group of port truck drivers in Long Beach Port in a class action lawsuit against their employers.
A survivor of discrimination and domestic violence, Carmen is also passionate on issues relating to hate crime, gender violence, equal opportunity, and human rights. She continues to mentor and assist young transgender individuals who suffered discrimination and violence themselves as well as those seeking their own path.
Carmen is an avid hiker and lover of nature. She appreciates art, literature, movies, and architecture. She loves to cook and is a keeper of her family's heirloom recipes. Carmen is also very intersted in ancient civilizations and cultures, especially ancient stories, dances, and music.
Click here for Yiu Ho Au's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Yiu Ho Au, class of 2015, is an innovator and pioneer in all he does. He created Pride Admit Weekend, the first LGBT college yield event in the country. I Am Bruin Pride is proud to feature Yiu Ho Au as our 10th interviewee.
Yiu Ho Au identifies as a gay Asian (Chinese) genderqueer person, and graduated from the class of 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology and Neuroscience. Apart from his academic endeavors, Yiu Ho was also actively involved in LGBTQ organizations and initiatives - he believed in a vision of a united and cohesive UCLA LGBT community, where people holding different identities and experiences could come together for dialogue, understanding and solidarity.
Pride Admit Weekend, a student initiated yield event focused on admitted freshmen students who self-identify as LGBTQ, is an event that embodies the vision of community. Yiu Ho worked alongside then co-presidents Lenny Nguyen and Yakira Delgadillo from Project 1, a student organization that outreaches to local high school GSAs from East Los Angeles, to spearhead Pride Admit Weekend in 2014. Understanding that LGBTQ students face unique and disproportionate challenges in achieving higher education, they worked together to program an overnight program that not only validates the students' identities, but also provides information on resources that support LGBTQ students at UCLA. Unbeknownst to them, Pride Admit Weeked paved the way as a nationa leader for LGBTQ focused initative in a large public university.
From his personal experiences in intersection of identities and academic interests, Yiu Ho plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology to develop a comprehensive interventuion for LGBTQ youth that provides LGBTQ-affirmative and competent therapy. Yiu Ho's wish within his lifetime is to see the eradication of the practice of conversion therapy across the United States.
Click here for Faith Cheltenham's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Faith Cheltenham, class of 2005, was a heavily involved student activist while attending UCLA, and continues that work to this day. Her involvement in establishing the Queer Alliance at UCLA echoes today. I Am Bruin Pride is proud to feature Faith Cheltenham as our 11th interviewee.
As President of BiNet USA, Faith Cheltenham works to advocate for bisexual, pansexual, fluid, and queer communities. Despite an average budget of less than $10,000 a year, BiNet USA regularly connects with over 40,000 daily digital users. Working within the Bisexual Leadership Roundtable (BLR) collective space, BiNet USA co-sponsors a mailing list for nearly 100 bi+ leaders.
A Human Rights Campaign intern on the Gore 2000 campaign, Faith co-founded UCLA’s BlaQue for Black SGL/LGBT people of African descent in 2002. In 2013, Faith co-organized the first bisexual community issues roundtable at the White House and in 2014, Faith was honored to meet President Obama privately alongside other LGBT leaders before witnessing the President sign Executive Order 11246 which protects LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination.
A techie since birth, Faith has worked as a digital strategist on campaigns with Warner Bros. (“Harry Potter Book 7: Pt.2”), Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York (“Finding Sarah” on the Oprah Winfrey Network), and Macmillan (tor.com). Faith currently writes on bisexual community issues, bisexual people of color community concerns and other topics for South Florida Gay News, Huffington Post and BiNet USA’s blog.
Faith identifies herself as a Black/West Indian bi cis queer woman of color. She has a biracial family and is the proud parent of a gender expansive child, Storm (age 3). Faith lives in Los Angeles where she’s step-mom to Cadence (age 7) and is married to Matt, a Sr. Android developer at Grindr. In her spare time she enjoys doing stand-up, slam poetry and watching copious amounts of sci-fi/fantasy entertainment.
Click here for Chad Lazzari's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Chad Allen Lazzari, class of 2015, is a non-traditional student who’s advocacy for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention has helped prove him to be a powerful advocate on campus. I Am Bruin Pride is proud to feature Chad Allen Lazzari as our 12th interviewee.
Chad Allen began his professional acting career at the age of five-years-old starring as the autistic Tommy Westfall in the hit television series, “St. Elsewhere;” while also reoccurring on the sitcom, “Webster.” He then went on to three seasons of the NBC Drama, “Our House,” followed by two years on the successful show, “My Two Dads,” starring Paul Reiser. He then landed arguably his most popular television role-playing Mathew Cooper on the long time hit CBS series, “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.” After six years on the show Allen made the move into producing and formed first, The Creative Outlet Theater Company, with actress Heather Tom, and then the acclaimed independent film company, Mythgarden, with partners Christopher Racster and Robert Gant. Allen produced and starred in the feature film SAVE ME with Judith Light, a passion project about the destruction wrought of gay “reparative” therapy that is currently available on Netflix.
In 1996 Chad was publicly outed when a national tabloid magazine printed a cover story featuring him kissing another man. Chad responded by coming out publicly and was among the first working actors to do so in an era of oppressive homophobia in Hollywood. Chad became an advocate for gay rights across the country appearing on national talk shows such as Larry King Live, where he became a recurring guest advocating for the inherent goodness of the gay community and standing up to religious and secular bigotry. He was also a tireless AIDS activist and athlete, riding his bike across California six times, and running countless marathons to raise millions of dollars to fight AIDS and help those living with HIV. He helped to educate thousands about the disease and efforts to fight it, and in 2009 the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation (GLAD) honored Chad, for his work as an activist and community leader when they presented him with the Davidson/Valentini Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished service by an openly gay person.
Two years ago Chad Allen Lazzari left entertainment to fulfill his dream of going back to school as a student of clinical psychology. Chad became an openly gay UCLA Bruin and helped to launch the Rainbow Connection Peer Mentorship program to create a safe online chat space where queer and questioning students could connect with trained mentors to seek help, understanding or advice. Chad is currently serving on the UCLA LGBT Resource Center’s 20thanniversary committee. He will graduate in June with a BA in Psychology and a minor in LGBT Studies.
Click here for Michael Haymer's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Michael Haymer, class of 2018, is a graduate student at UCLA whose passion for helping others stems from the challenges of his life. His activist work around HIV prevention, LGBTQ rights and transgender equality made him a clear candidate for I Am Bruin Pride. We proudly feature Michael Haymer as our 13th interviewee.
Michael Haymer was raised in Orange County, CA. He self-identified as gay early yet expressing himself in a conservative atmosphere meant relentless bullying; however Michael found that these qualities were fundamental to his personhood. During this time, Michael became interested in medicine after watching his single mother struggle without health insurance. He saw UCLA as a beacon and dreamed of becoming a future Bruin.
As a UCLA undergraduate, Michael experienced homelessness for about 6 months and this inspired him to co-found the Happy Feet Clinic. Prior to starting medical school in the dual-degree PRIME Program, Michael worked as a community educator and conducted research on the use of GPS-enabled applications for HIV prevention. Tragically, Michael’s mother passed away from complications of diabetes in his first year. Michael rebounded from this tragic loss and serving vulnerable populations is a tribute to his mother.
Michael is actively involved in transgender health research and helped change UCLA’s LGBTQ patient-related policies. He is dedicated to educating providers about LGBTQ health, has planned several conferences, and is an editor for a novel LGBTQ health textbook. In recognition of his efforts, Michael received the UCLA Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Award and is a Point Foundation Scholar
Click here for James Schultz's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Click here for Jaemmie Canas's poster series: Quote Poster, One Word Poster
Jack Kaden, class of 2015, is an arts educator, activist, and student of World Arts and Cultures with a minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education. Throughout their entire life, Jack has been interested in the arts and their powerful ability to enact change in both people and the world. Jack has studied acting, theatrical production, singing, ceramics, sculpture, photography, videography, painting, 2D and digital deisgn, mixed media assemblage, collage, and innumerable other art forms. Through their work on I Am Bruin Pride, Jack has learned the powerful quality of videography and film making to record untold histories and hopes to continue using videography to capture and share underrepresented histories. Jack hopes to use art to help people find liberation, heal their lives, and tomake the world a better place.
Royce Nitta, class of 2015, is pursuing a double major in Sociology & Gender Studies at UCLA. His interests and passions stem from politics, social justice, and everyday people. He has worked on numerous local and statewide political campaigns and initiatives such as the minimum wage increase in San Jose, Prop 30, and fossil fuel divestment programs throguhout his undergraduate career. In addition to this, Royce has served as a New Student Advisor under the New Student & Transition Programs, The Student Alumni Association, and The Pediatric AIDS Coalition. Though he keeps a busy schedule, Royce has a big space in his heart for the I Am Bruin Pride project. From conducting research, interviews, photoshoots, and archiving, to helping the management of the logistics entailed with operating the program, it has taught him how to create, prepare, conduct, and impliment organizations and initiatives from the ground up. Due to this incredible opportunity, Royce says the launch of the project is one of his proudest moments. He hopes that after graduation he can utilize these experiences and continue his work in social justice and politics--hoping to one day be a U.S. Congressman or Diplomat.